Take the money

PUBLISHED: 16:21 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2010

THOSE people in Whitehall running our civil service really did get it wrong last week. They decided that Newcastle-under-Lyme should be given a huge amount of Government money in a grant. That, obviously, seems perfectly reasonable. Of course, the Govern

THOSE people in Whitehall running our civil service really did get it wrong last week.

They decided that Newcastle-under-Lyme should be given a huge amount of Government money in a grant.

That, obviously, seems perfectly reasonable.

Of course, the Government should help communities through such gestures.

But it's not when the Newcastle which should have received the cash was actually Newcastle-on-Tyne.

And it wasn't just this year that the accountants in Whitehall with the cheque books got it wrong.

Who, then, can blame Newcastle-under-Lyme for not wanting to return the money?

The whole episode does, however, raise an interesting question.

Has all the money from a Government department earmarked for Royston been sent to Royston in Yorkshire.

Surely not. Or there again.

It's just a suggestion because I do not know of any Government department receiving an appeal from Royston to pay towards anything that may just help our local economy.

But, all the same, it's worrying.

And, obviously, Royston would take any money from the Government which may come its way.

After all, the town centre strategy plans currently being examined will cost money whenever a decision is reached to approve the proposals.

Indeed, such proposals are not just about a tidying up exercise.

There will be the need for real investment from somewhere to re-vitalise the town centre.

Perhaps, too, there is money somewhere in Whitehall which could come our way to pay for a decent town bus service.

Or is that too much to ask?

Maybe the mistakes over Newcastle-under-Lyme and Newcastle-on-Tyne have happened elsewhere.

Who knows? Cash which should have gone to Melbourn in south Cambridgeshire may have ended up in Australia.

If the details of such Government grants happen to be kept on a computer disc then we don't have a chance. The disc is probably lost by now, or has been thrown into the back of a civil servant's desk drawer.

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